What is respiratory failure?
Respiratory failure, also known as respiratory acidosis, is a condition that occurs when the lungs cannot remove all of the carbon dioxide the body produces. As a result, body fluids become too acidic.
Symptoms may include:
Exams and tests to diagnose respiratory failure include:
Treatment is aimed at the underlying lung disease, and may include:
Bronchodilator drugs to reverse some airway obstruction
Methods to stop smoking
Noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation, or mechanical ventilation if needed
Oxygen if the blood oxygen level is low
How well you do depends on the disease causing respiratory failure.